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Old 08-06-2012, 10:23 AM
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Default Smooth Collies bred for work?

First off, let me say I am not interested in getting a collie of any type. I'm not trying to find a breeder. I'm only curious.

Are there any Smooth Collies who are still bred for work (herding) and not for show? It seems like all Smooth Collies are showdogs and if they do any work it is Agility or Obedience, not the herding work that they were created to do.

Basically what I am asking is, do you ever see Smooth Collies (or Rough Collies for that matter) at herding trials, or used as actual farm dogs?

I'd also just like to mention that I sure hope in the future nobody has to ask... "Do working Border Collies still exist?" Sad seeing working breeds reduced to showdogs... (no offense to confo handlers.)
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cliffdog View Post

I'd also just like to mention that I sure hope in the future nobody has to ask... "Do working Border Collies still exist?" Sad seeing working breeds reduced to showdogs... (no offense to confo handlers.)
You know, I generally agree with you, but... "I just said something extremely offensive regarding the sport you participate in, but no offense, conformation handlers." Really? Yeah, I'm sure that won't offend anybody since you added "no offense." lol

There's a breeder in Europe with Collies (mostly smooth) that do SCH, but I don't know if that fits your definition of "working." I know of many breeders who are primarily show breeders that do some light herding (and yes, they trial) with Collies as well.

As far as Collies actually working sheep on a daily basis, I couldn't tell you.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:55 AM
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I don't mean to insult confo handlers because there is nothing inherently wrong with confo showing. It's when you breed dogs for conformation and not work that you mess up breeds... There are loads of great confo handlers who breed dogs based on ability, not just appearances, and to those people, I mean no offense at all.

SchH is definitely work. I was mostly wondering about herding in particular because I wanted to know if there were an breeders who were keeping the breed true to its origin. But a SchH collie is definitely a cool and interesting thing to hear about.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:59 AM
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I see a lot of working farm Collies around here. Smooth and Rough.

Its not conformation that ruined dogs, its breeders.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cliffdog View Post
I don't mean to insult confo handlers because there is nothing inherently wrong with confo showing. It's when you breed dogs for conformation and not work that you mess up breeds... There are loads of great confo handlers who breed dogs based on ability, not just appearances, and to those people, I mean no offense at all.
I'm in agreement with you once again, but that's not how it came off, at least to me.

To answer your question better, we would need to know where you draw the line between work and sport. SCH is a sport to me. So is Agility - and good agility is very intense and requires a lot of dog. (Like, personally, if I saw Collies that were fast and very drivey in agility, I'd be surprised and impressed, I wouldn't poopoo it as insignificant.)

I'm not being smart, I'm really just asking what you consider work and what you consider sport? Because you'll find breeders that fall along a gradient, most will probably show but they may place varying importance on performance sports/herding work and the dogs will reflect that.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:40 AM
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Yeah... Agility, obedience, sports in general are very challenging and great testers of work ethic, drive, and biddability. Testing herding instinct, no, but elsewise it's a great breed test.

I have a GF who does show first and foremost with her smooth coats but she also does herding trials occasionally. I forget her kennel name but I'll ask.

Honestly as a whole I'd be far more concerned about the health of the breed and seemingly extreme lack of health testing than I would be with traditional working dogs.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:32 PM
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Logan's breeder does show, but she herds with them too. Most, if not all, of her dogs have herding instinct (I haven't checked each one, but I don't remember see any that didn't). Logan has his HIC and I am DYING to get him into herding trials, I just don't have the money for training right now. Logan's sire has his PT and is a Grand Champion in the conformation ring. Just because a dog does conformation doesn't mean they can't work. You can work and look pretty while doing it

Logan would like to think he's a working chicken herder He does actually help when we need him, but poor thing, most of the time he's just left staring at them longingly.

This is Baby Logan before I got him <3



At the national specialty last year there were a lot of dogs in both herding and conformation, some just in herding, some in herding and another sport, etc. Herding is a big part of collie heritage, so no, not everyone has just forgotten all about it.

As far as general work, Logan is a working dog, just not a working herder. He's my service dog, and he is wonderful at it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:41 PM
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If I were going to get another Collie I'd look very much at importing one from this breeder (the same breeder Emily mentioned): http://www.youtube.com/user/nirreterrit

That said, Emily is right in saying it depends on what you call "work" and what you call "sport". There are not really working lines of Smooth Collies the way there are working lines of BCs or Aussies or GSDs but ability and drive can vary a lot from breeder to breeder.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
There are not really working lines of Smooth Collies the way there are working lines of BCs or Aussies or GSDs but ability and drive can vary a lot from breeder to breeder.
Very much this. There isn't a huge split at all. The biggest split is more "pet" and "not pet" but even at that, the conformation/sport/work/herding dogs still make great pets. So maybe the split is more "BYB" and "responsible breeder". BYB collies tend to be pretty ugly IMO (long, arched noses, floppy ears, horrible bite, teeeeeeny tiny eyes), but at the same time, smoothies are not that common in BYBs, not nearly as common as roughs.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
Very much this. There isn't a huge split at all. The biggest split is more "pet" and "not pet" but even at that, the conformation/sport/work/herding dogs still make great pets. So maybe the split is more "BYB" and "responsible breeder". BYB collies tend to be pretty ugly IMO (long, arched noses, floppy ears, horrible bite, teeeeeeny tiny eyes), but at the same time, smoothies are not that common in BYBs, not nearly as common as roughs.
^^^^What I was going to say.

One thing collies are known for (and what drew me personally to the breed) is versitility. The same dog can win a conformation show the same weekend as he Qs at an agility or flyball trial, the same weekend he Qs at a herding trial; then goes home and works as a service or guide dog. The breed is not split into specialities like some breeds are (conformation-bred versus sport-bred versus working-bred). Now, is the collie always going to beat the border collie at herding? Or beat the golden retriever in obedience? Not necessarily. But they'll do the job well anyway.

Also I think collies are still commonly used as working farm dogs in Europe. European collies look very different, IMO, from American collies, it'd be interesting to see how their temperaments match up.
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